Leonardo at Earth Technology Expo

18 October 2021

From 13 to 16 October 2021, Florence hosted ETE - Earth Technology Expo. This was the first and most comprehensive exhibition of innovative technological applications in development and present in NextGenerationEU. In the city of Leonardo and the Renaissance, in the historical spaces of the Fortezza da Basso in Florence, for the first time technologies improving the quality of life of people, the environment, and cities; for space surveillance of the territory; for knowledge and control of the subsoil, soil, sea, water, wooded areas, and urban environments were showcased.

Climate, surveillance from space, 5G technology, natural risk prevention and control, emergency management, energy, environment, sea, water, smart cities, infrastructure, mobility, labour, agriculture and agritech, the circular economy, telemedicine and medicine 4.0, smart working and distance learning, scientific research. These are all themes, which were presented in the exhibition areas and discussed on different panels during the three-day programme of the exhibition.

Leonardo, one of the main partners of ETE, took the opportunity to display several technologies in the areas of satellite earth observation, emergency management, advanced surveillance systems, geoformation services and applications, and weather radar systems. Each of them represents a pillar in the integration of capabilities required to increase awareness and to bring innovative solutions in the management and control of natural hazards towards an ecological transition. 

In the space sector, Leonardo displayed the model of the Lightning Imager (LI), one of the new instruments for the European Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) mission, realised by Leonardo in Campi Bisenzio (near Florence). Designed to detect lighting discharges – interclouds and clouds-to-ground – it continuously and simultaneously observes Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia and South America to produce data for short-term weather forecasting and assess the influence of climate change in the atmosphere.  Always in space, Leonardo displayed the models of the Italian Space Agency COSMO-SkyMed and, inside the area of Regione Toscana, PRISMA earth observation satellites. Designed and built in Campi Bisenzio, the PRISMA’s electro-optical payload includes the world's most powerful hyperspectral instrument currently operating for Earth observation.

Moving to lower altitudes, Leonardo hosted the FB3 heavy payload cargo drone devised by the Italian start-up FlyingBasket. Leonardo has a commercial and technological agreement with FlyingBasket. FB3 falls into the category of Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Systems (VTOL UAS) and is a leader in cargo drones for safety-critical applications. The system weights 70 kg and is suitable for load lifting and transportation of up to 100 kg per flight; it is primarily designed for civilian applications but has also great potential for logistic missions in the defence sector. 

Another important asset in the emergency management and civil protection operations showcased by Leonardo in Florence is X-2030, a new generation command & control and intelligence solution. Thanks to the enhancement and enrichment of data – collected from heterogeneous sources and coherently correlated – X-2030 offers a higher-level information framework for complete Situational Awareness, which supports a more informed decision-making process also thanks to the application of advanced algorithms for automatic identification of potentially critical events.  

X-2030 can be applied to different application domains such as security and public order, defence, resilience of the region, safe and intelligent management of the city, and the Smart & Secure City.

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